Federal

Aug 12, 2014

Surveillance advocates hit us with their best shot

The advocates for data retention have now had an opportunity to put their case, and they've failed to offer anything credible.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

A week into the “debate” about the government’s new round of anti-terror laws, and advocates of surveillance have now had time to recover from the initial bungling of the argument for data retention and present their case. The results have not been enlightening.

11 comments

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11 thoughts on “Surveillance advocates hit us with their best shot

  1. klewso

    The Oz trying to sell “Data Retention” – a Limited News Party Government initiative?
    Like Murdoch’s UK Limited News franchise “retained” “three(?) million” emails from when Brooks was running the show?

  2. klewso

    Originally?
    [“If you have nothing to hide – you have nothing to worry about!”? Rebekah Brooks – toiling over a hot delete button (only 500,000 to go)?]

  3. Coaltopia

    The post-NSA overreach and statistical evidence should rebalance the argument in favour of privacy and targeted surveillance – not dragnet. However GCHQ and ASIO continue to swim upstream in a river full of cash and data with poor oversight.

    Brandis, his demented party and the media apologists are a traitor to the general public’s freedoms.

  4. Venise Alstergren

    Is it a coincidence? Why is it that whenever the Libs are in power the never ending wars carried out in the rest of the planet, suddenly assume ‘Total War’ importance, whereas with a Labor government in power all we have to contend with is corruption at a state level?

    Is it because Liberal Party leaders are so desperate for a photo op they dredge up any excuse for some publicity?

  5. Recalcitrant.Rick

    Bernard Keane! A man of the “Hard Left” :-):-) 🙂

  6. Scott Grant

    I can’t remember the original cause, perhaps Bernard’s previous article, but I remember doing a search on the quote “if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear”. Lots of interesting hits. Amongst other things, the argument has apparently been promulgated by none other than Joseph Goebbels, as well as George Orwell in “1984”.

    I quite like the discussion at http://chronicle.com/article/Why-Privacy-Matters-Even-if/127461

  7. The Pav

    As to the argument that if you have nothing to hide….

    Looking forward to somebody asking the Minister for Immigration and Torture to fully explain what is happening and that “as there is nothing to hide” then a full and frank disclosure is the way to go. Failure m,eans that he must have something to hide.

    Can’t see the Oz having the integrity to do that tho’ Can you?

  8. The Pav

    Just out of curiosity when the IRA was most active and most definitely a terrorist organisation where was
    The call for greater local security by way of invasion of privacy or furyher loss of civil liberties?
    The attempts to stop australioans providing support by either cash of physical participation?

    It would seem that Catholic white terrorists are much safer than Islamic terrists eh?

    The bottomm line that those calling for further encroachments into our liberties is that by doing so we hand the terrorists a victory. They have cvhanged our lifestyle. As hard as it seems the proper response it to maintian our values and not treat thema as a political problem ( which gives them some kind of status) but as a criminal problem. This was the most effective strategy against the IRA , the UDF etc. It hurts short term but succeeds long term. The other way doesn’t solve the problem, alienates the law abiding population witha brain and provides a fertile recruiting ground for further malcontents.

  9. teecha

    So I suppose that some hundreds of radicalised individuals returning from jihad in foreign lands do represent a threat but I’ve yet to see a compelling argument as to how that requires data retention on the online activities of the other 99.999999% of the Australian population, or whatever the precise numbers are.

    Perhaps journalists, whistleblowers, malcontents, or just ordinary people who don’t share the prevailing authorities’ political or social or religious or other views could be more malleable as the Panopticon bears down upon them.

    Team Australia – over regulated and under surveillance.

  10. Sailor

    Thanks,Scott Grant #5, for the link to The Chronicle. That’s a thought-provoking essay. It reinforced my prejudice against our current Gov’t’s idealogues, zealots, & brainless drones. And several earlier ones, including Gillard’s.

    I do hope my similar opinions about my fellow Australian voters’ ability to think are incorrect.

    Time will tell.

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